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Glass Town: The Imaginary World of the Brontës

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  1,961 ratings  ·  342 reviews
A graphic novel about the Brontë siblings, and the strange and marvelous imaginary worlds they invented during their childhood
Glass Town is an original graphic novel by Isabel Greenberg that encompasses the eccentric childhoods of the four Brontë children—Charlotte, Branwell, Emily, and Anne. The story begins in 1825, with the deaths of Maria and Elizabeth, the eldest si
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published March 3rd 2020 by Abrams ComicArts (first published February 6th 2020)
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really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
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 ·  1,961 ratings  ·  342 reviews

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Dave Schaafsma
In the past couple years I took the opportunity to--after many decades—re-read Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights and her sister Charlotte’s Jane Eyre, and have since taught each of them at least once in my classes. I was in part trying to correct a problem in my YA class teaching that a couple women called attention to: Why is it you celebrate/interrogate all these various genres in your classes but not romance? So I took on that challenge and it led me back to, among other things, the Brontes (a ...more
Alice Lippart
So enjoyable and I loved the artwork!
April (Aprilius Maximus)
Oct 12, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020
"We have lived off dreams for far too long, Anne."

representation: Black characters.

[trigger warnings are listed at the bottom of this review and may contain spoilers]


Even though I'm a hardcore Brontë stan, this one just wasn't for me because I really didn't like the art style. I really enjoyed the actual story though!

trigger warnings: death of family members, colonisation, slavery, racism.
Lauren James
Feb 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novel
I love Isabel's graphic novels, and Glass Town was just as brilliant as I'd hoped. The perfect mix of fantasy and historical fiction, it flows seamlessly between imagination and memoir. ...more
Jenny Lawson
Sep 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful look into the secret, imaginary lives of these Brontës. Rather inspiring.
Daisy May Johnson
I am increasingly conscious that I am moving closer to the world of the Brontës, falling in love with it, and not being remotely mad about this, not at all. I would have fought against this a few years ago, I think, reading them as something distant from what they are. Something dull, something 'bonnety', something related to distant schooldays and the memories of tearing a text from limb to limb and leaving little to nothing left there to love, to lose onself in. But I have learnt how to read s ...more
Aug 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
I almost returned this to the library unread, because I was put off by the scribbly style of the artwork, and also found the handwritten text challenging to read. However, I forced myself to read the first few pages, and then got engrossed by the story and both of those things ceased to matter. I finished it more or less in one sitting.

I came to the book already knowing a lot about the Brontë family and the existence of their fantasy worlds, but not much more about the content of those worlds th
Théo M. (bookswiththeo)
I almost DNFed this one, which would definitely be a first for a graphic novel. But I just could not get into this story, I really couldn’t care less about the plot, but in theory it is really cute that it’s about their imagination as children. I just couldn’t get into it, not my cup of tea.

I enjoyed the art style, but I didn’t like the colour choices, I felt sometimes the palette was too dark.
Varsha Ravi (between.bookends)

Isabel Greenberg’s stunning and imaginatively rendered graphic interpretation of the Bronte’s siblings fictional world of Glass Town is nothing short of brilliant. Having read both her other full length graphic novels, The Encyclopaedia of Early Earth and The One Hundred Nights of Hero, this newest work is my favourite. It begins with a melancholic note as an older Charlotte, the only one of the 4 left alive, ruminates the world she created with her siblings, Branwell, Emily and Anne. Green
Rod Brown
Apr 02, 2020 rated it liked it
I highly recommend that this book be read with (but after) the recent graphic novel, Charlotte Brontë Before Jane Eyre, to get a fuller understanding of the childhood of the Brontës and the creation of the Glass Town shared universe.

This is a melancholy tale with suitably dark and rough art that uses loose adaptations of Glass Town stories to reflect rifts in the Brontë family and complex feelings amongst the siblings, especially those of Charlotte for her brother Branwell. It also probes a bit
May 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020, graphic-novel

If you've finished and loved Glass Town like I have and are looking to prolong your Brontë love, pair it with To Walk Invisible, which is a stunning film about the Brontë siblings. I thought a lot about this movie while savouring those gorgeous pages of Greenberg's graphic novel.
Pure perfection!! I loved every single page of this stunning book. I recommend to everyone!

Mar 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It was SO good! This is my first (real, apart from Harry Potter) 5-star book of the year. I enjoyed it for every second and could barely put it down. De illustrations were STUNNING and the plot absolutely consumed me. This was a beautiful homage to the Brontë's and now I can't wait to read more by them and - most of all - to read more of Greenberg's work as well. The colours were mesmerising and fit the story perfectly. The story itself was so whimsical and beautifully thought out. This could ha ...more
I requested this book from Edelweiss for review. My request was granted. I tried to view it on my kindle fire 8, but couldn’t read it. The words were too small. I knew I would want the book in my collection so I ordered it from Book Depository.

The book itself is sturdy and the pages are made from quality paper. This book is like a graphic novel. I don’t read many of them so, the format and drawings took some time to get used to. I did enjoy the book. It is one that can be reread and definitely
Elizabeth A
Apr 16, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphix, 2020
This semi-biographical graphic novel is about the Brontes siblings, their family dynamics, and the imaginary worlds they created - Glass Town was one such world.

This is the third book I've read by the author, and is the one I liked least. It was interesting to get some insight into the family, and some of the influences behind Jane Eyre, but there was something missing for me. Jane Eyre is the only Brontes book I've read (I really liked it), but I know nothing about the siblings - maybe if I di
Kaylee Gwyn (literarypengwyns)
5 Stars

Wonderful! This is a graphic novel depicting the imaginary world of Glass Town that the four Bronte siblings created in their childhood. We start with Charlotte, the sole surviving Bronte child, as she deals with her grief. Her character of Charles Wellesley comes to visit her and reintroduces her to Glass Town as a way to handle her grief. We are then transported through the creation of Glass Town, the dramas unfolding there and in the Bronte Family’s lives, and then to the destruction o
Feb 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bramwell, Anne and Emily all die within 9 months of each other, leaving Charlotte alone and lost. It’s 1849 and she’s out from behind her pseudonym. She’s famous and she’s grieving.

She turns back to Angria, the world she and her siblings created and wrote together. While Anne and Emily would later split, and move their creative efforts to Gibraltar, and while Bramwell’s use of their fictional kingdom could be haphazard and misaligned with Charlotte’s vision, Angria was special.

I’ve read a couple
Jenny Cooke (Bookish Shenanigans)
One of my favourite books of the year that I'm sure will stay with me. A witty and clever story of the Bronte siblings and their juvenalia writings of Gondol and Glass Town. An entertaining read that is exquisitely illustrated. ...more
Mar 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
I never read graphic novels, they aren't really my thing. However, I could not resist this one. The story of Charlotte dealing with the death of her siblings by retreating to their beloved childhood Glasstown was exquisitely told by Greenberg. I loved this. That is all. Even if you are not a graphic novel reader in general, if you find the Brontës interesting (and who doesn't?) then you should get this. I think it would also be the perfect gift for a literary little one. ...more
Kester Grant
had no idea this existed, saw something on instagram, downloaded a sample and was hooked! such a brilliant graphic novel, am now starting Greenbergs award winning previous works and also looking to hunt down the Bronte juvenalia, WHERE CAN I READ THE POEMS OF GONDAL?!!!

also really grateful when publishers make GX, PB and MG available in e-book format since i live a gazillion miles away from everything and also lockdown.
Stacy Renee  (LazyDayLit)
A strange and surreal look into the imaginary world/s that the Bronte siblings created after the deaths of their eldest two sisters.

My full review was originally shared on my blog, Lazy Day Literature.

This historical fiction graphic novel begins with the eldest two Bronte sisters' deaths, leaving the remaining four siblings, Charlotte, Branwell, Emily, and Anne to care for each other. They find solace in creating stories set in a place of words and ink that they named 'Glass Town'. But Branwell
Samidha; समिधा
“But some thing cannot be made alive again, and nor should they be.”

This was so good, but I don’t know why I was crying by the end. To see these characters and understand the process of creation from the writer’s lens; it just made me all emotional at the end 😭

Mar 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fans of classics and Bronte sisters, take note: THIS BOOK IS FOR YOU!

Glass Town by Isabel Greenberg is a beautifully drawn graphic novel that brings to life the interior world of Bronte siblings’ creative minds. Charlotte, Emily, Anne, and Branwell (yes, they had a brother too) created an elaborate imaginary city called the Glasstown Confederacy. The idea came about when they were grieving the death of their two elder siblings - Maria and Elizabeth. This little game they had constructed—of build
Mar 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Greenberg’s latest graphic novel explores the pull of imagination over reality through the fictitious worlds created by the Brontë siblings: Charlotte, Emily, Anne, and Branwell. Mostly focusing on Charlotte’s perspective, the narrative weaves biographical elements of the siblings together with the stories of their invented worlds (like the titular Glass Town) and characters that served as entertainment during their isolated childhood. These imagined characters serve as reflection on both the si ...more
May 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
''Quite frankly, Miss Bronte, you have lost the plot.''

I had a period in my twenties where I read all the Brontes works and a few biographies. There is something so captivating about these sisters living on the moors, isolated but alive with imagination, which resulted in timeless works of literature.

This book begins in shades of grey blue, Charlotte is out on the moors, when she hears footsteps and meets one of the characters of her juvenilia writing, Charles. Charlotte has just lost Anne, her
I’ve been fascinated by the Brontës since I read Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre as a child, though I much prefer the latter. Because I loved those books, any time I came across a novel or a nonfiction book on the siblings, I would snatch it up and read it. I also adored the documentary “To Walk Invisible” about the literary sisters.

Glass Town is all about the juvenilia of the four siblings, created by them after being brought home from school after the deaths of the two eldest sisters. Living o
Bryn (Plus Others)
This was interesting, but as I try to write this review I'm realising that I found it really, really annoying. I have a soft spot for the Bronte juvenalia, for the power of that sort of untrammelled writing of personal fantasy, so I was hoping for something that took that and showed how magical it can be, something that passionately loved the ridiculously melodramatic stories that the four of them told. Failing that, I would also have been delighted by a look at the cultural sources of their ide ...more
Nov 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
I adore most novels the Bronte sister had time to finish before their untimely deaths, and I'm also fascinated by the lives the led. The only thing I haven't got along with is their juvenilia, stories they wrote as children. Glass Town, which combines these two latter aspects by being “a graphic novel about the Bronte siblings, and the strange and marvelous imaginary worlds they invented during their childhood”, was therefore a slight risk for me. Had it not been executed by Isabel Greenberg who ...more
Feb 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this! It’s my first graphic novel, and where I probably won’t reach for them often, it’s taught me that they can be a fun reading experience! I’ve always found the Brontë juvenilia a little confusing, but the visual art really helped me to make sense of it. I know some of it was based on the work and a lot was fictionalised but I didn’t really mind that!

I loved how it focused on Glass Town, but I do wish it spoke of Gondal a little more! I would love to see another of these dedi
Jul 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have heard amazing things about Isabel Greenberg and the praise is definitely well deserved after devouring this in one sitting. Greenberg mixes together Brontë siblings childhood and their fantasy universe that they created together. It's a heartbreaking story of death and escapism but also a beautiful love letter to stories and writing. I absolutely flew through this and fell in love with Greenberg's illustrations. Highly recommend this to anyone who loves Brontës. ...more
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